Just a little note to say that until Wednesday ALL my books are free to download at Amazon!
Go get yourself a copy.
Just a little note to say that until Wednesday ALL my books are free to download at Amazon!
Go get yourself a copy.
Alright, alright, I know I’ve been absent, but honestly, I have good reasons. I’ve been working like a demon – and there are so many nice surprises i get to share with you folks this year – i just can’t wait.
I FINALLY got around to sorting out some of my artwork and sorted the pieces i’m exhibiting and the ones i’m not and have created a lovely little instagram page for them that you are all welcome to check out. I’ll be adding to them over the next year. All the pieces shown are for sale unless otherwise stated – many of them have already been sold / reserved (looks like i’m able to pay my rent this year after all :) )
So check it out – and please excuse my bad photography – as you all know i have a slight tremor in my right hand which makes keeping things steady a bit tough.
Anyways, just wanted to let you know that between acting, writing, painting, my new theatre group (more on that later) and my new radio play series (whoops! – more on that later too) you know I wouldn’t ignore you all. I have also been working really hard on my new posts about fanfiction, so bear with me ya’ll.
And, incase some of you are a bit confused – i’ve been using my maiden name again for a lot of stuff, but don’t worry, i’ll always let you know it’s me.
I’m a terrible person – but I honestly have a good excuse. between real life stress and bad health I just haven’t been as active as normal – and to all the folks over at ao3 who have been infinitely patient – I promise more frequent updates.
although it looks life is going to take a busier turn soon – I’m hoping to go back to work soon and I just got cast in a movie – a small part but it”s the first proper acting I’ve done in a long time so I’m pretty excited. I have to admit that it will be strange to be on th other side of the camera again
Today is International Fanworks Day. A day when we fans can celebrate the things we create.
I’ve spoken a lot about how I feel about fanfiction and video (lovelovelovelovesquee!) so today has got me thinking about fanworks and their place in fandom.
I know a lot of people don’t like fanworks, including authors and creators, and you know, that’s fine. Fans respect that – if we are asked not to post fic or art or video then we don’t do it. Fandom works two ways after all.
But in those fandoms where we have a sort of unspoken free rein……oh wow! Boy do we ever go to town.
Fanworks are a way for fans to continue things, participate, and, on occassion fix things (see below re. ‘head canon’) that we can share with other like minded people. It’s a way to get through the horrible months between seasons, and honestly, I know that I personally have met some wonderful people through their work.
Issues with fanworks
Okay, so the biggest issue we have for fans is that fanworks can constitute a breach of a copyright because they could be seen as derivative works. Which, I guess, they are. They can also cause massive headaches for creators when they come up with an idea that already exists somewhere in fandom – this is one of the main reasons I’ve seen folk ask for fanwork not to be public. I’ve talked a lot about fanworks in the past, so I’m not going to dwell on it too much here.
Fans are amazing. I can’t say that enough. Sure, we, as a collective, can be annoying and weird and a little obsessive, but we band together, we have an amazing time, and, and this is important, we are the ones who make shows and books financially profitable, so when creators make negative comments about fans, it’s actually pretty shitty. In all the fan communities I am part of, folks are sweet, intelligent and respectful and some of them are amazingly talented. Just before Christmas I started to post a story on AO3. It was only supposed to be a short 1000 word one shot to get it out of my system. Since then it’s grown to two novel length works and a short that it never would have been if hadn’t honestly been for the encouragement and support of the community there. Logging in each day to comments and emails has become the highlight of my day. I’m a writer, but I don’t read reviews of my books, yet I devour reviews of my fanfiction. It’s a strange sort of validation. And honestly, I love being able to play in someone else’s world for a little while, but even better than that is when someone else who loves those characters as much as you do tells you that you are doing something well.
Today I am uploading two chapters, some of which will be lots of porn. Because fuck it, we fangirls like our porn and we aren’t ashamed of it.
So, whereever you are, however you spend today, read some fic, watch some vids, look at some art and marvel at how amazing fandom is.
**Head canon – a collective fan canon that is generally accepted as the norm – usually when something happens that we don’t like and so the fandom as a whole tends to ignore or ‘fix’ the event – ie. Ianto didn’t die, Mary isn’t pregnant, Mystrade (because really, that’s practically canon)
I was rather disapointed this week when me local newspaper – the Newtownards Chronicle – chose to print a rather offensive piece by one of their regular writers, one Ian Alexander.
The piece is screenshotted below for anyone who wants to read it. Basically, it’s an ignorant bigoted homophobe using his public platform to spout hatred.
You can see the Newtownards Chronicle on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Newtownards-Chronicle/346839105401177
The piece concerns gay marriage, which Alexander insists on referring to as ‘marriage’ – he even suggests that he has no issue with gay people having a legal standing that is SOMETHING LIKE marriage, they should have a different thing and a different name for it.
So…..pretty much as things are now then?
And this is the problem. Alexander argues language. Honestly, I’m going to go blind from rolling my eyes so hard.
This EXACTLY highlights the problem when it comes to both equal rights and terminology.
WHY THE FUCK SHOULDN’T GAY PEOPLE BE ALLOWED TO MARRY AND REFER TO IT AS MARRIAGE?
There is no reason at all, and arguing terminology is just pedantic.
I’m actually embarrassed and ashamed to come from the same town this paper is from. In this age of equliaty and progression, how can a paper print such bigotted drivel? Where is the responsiblity of the written word? Now, don’t get me wrong, I;m not for censorship, but I do think that we have a moral responsilbity to NOT PRINT HATE SPEACH! To do so, and without comeback or balance, only furthers the problem by making it seem like it’s okay to think and speak like that.
In the past when I have complained about this sort of thing I have been fobbed off (remember my issue with teh DM?) and told that opinion pieces are the views of the writer, not the paper. But that doesn’t fly with me. See, the paper still chose to print it. The paper still CHOSE to put those words in their paper. They could have said no. They have decided that they weren’t going to devote time and space and give a platform for this sort of shit.
But instead they backed it. They decided to put it in in all it’s nasty glory. Well done Newtownards Chronicle – I’ll not be buying your paper again.
Well, here’s my opinion, Ian Alexander and his hate speech, and The Newtownards Chronicle can take their homophobia and ignorance and just FUCK RIGHT OFF – we want none of that shit here.
EDITED TO ADD – I posted on the Chronicles facebook page asking why they thought it was acceptable – along with the same screenshot from above.
I have a feeling I’m going to make someone very annoyed before the night is through.
I’ll keep you updated.
sorry guys, there won’t be any updates for a while – i had a minor cava related incident and, long story short i tripped over the dog and my arm is in a sling. turns out it’s really hard to type with one hand and the painkillers are making the text a bit wiggly. i’m also fairly sure i shouldn’t be sitting up for this long either.
Edited to add – i apparently made bad creative choices when on medication. I’ve been writing a lot of fanfic, and I woke up really irrationally angry at Martin Freeman and decided to punish the whole world 40k into my latest fic. As a result I appear to have angered a whole fandom. But the comments have made it all worthwhile.
So, for most of us Christmas is a wonderful time, but for one friend of mine it’s been a horribly stressful and upsetting experience. Sadly, it doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. Let me explain –
Many months ago my friend, let’s call her Sally, discovered her boyfriend had been cheating with someone she knew. They broke up, he moved out and that was that. Sort of.
Her exes new girlfriend then embarked on a campaign of abuse on social media which has lasted for almost six months.
Daily posts and jibes and comments targeted at Sally. It’s been a constant onslaught which has been witnessed by everyone she knows and has left her hurt, frightened and beyond upset. It’s reached the point where it’s starting to impact on her working life too. In short, it’s Not. Good.
Okay, I hear you say, so what’s the problem?
Well, she’s not named in the posts and they aren’t posted on her own social media pages – which she has basically shut down / locked or abandoned altogether in recent months – too afraid to go online and interact with her friends because of the risk of coming across something upsetting – and with so many people in common, and the way that some sites show you other friends comments or likes etc then there’s always a risk of something upsetting coming up in her sidebar.
The nature of the posts have been sly and calculated – targeted comments about her appearance, her job, her home – too many to be a co-incidence. So far she has managed to brush much of it off, determined not to take too much to heart. But in the last two weeks the campaign has stepped up – the new girlfriend has taken to name calling and refering to Sally openly as her BF’s ex, making it very clear who she is targeting. The name calling and slurs have been about Sally’s appearance, about her job, about her hobbies. Systematically targeting everything that makes Sally who she is. And all the while the new girlfriend is posting comments about how ‘classy’ and ‘elegant’ she is and what a ‘real lady’ she is – oh the irony. And all of her nasty targeted comments have been approved and liked by the BF – which is just disturbing in itself – I mean, who sees their partner acting in that way towards another human being and thinks that it’s acceptable and normal?
And it is breaking my heart because it’s so hard to prove or to stop this kind of thing.
We’ve seen far too many people driven to extreme measures by this sort of online bullying, and that’s what it is. Bullying.
It’s a deliberate, targeted and malicious attack which has left a wonder, amazing person hurt and desperate.
Now, Sally is smart and she is tough and she did what I would have done – she went straight to the source of the problem and she spoke to both her ex and his new girlfriend and asked them to stop.
It got worse.
I even asked her ex to have a word and make it stop. But nothing.
The law makes it very difficult to do anything about cyber bullying. It’s hard to prove and hard to make stick – which is why so many people get away with it.
So, instead of enjoying Christmas like everyone else, Sally spent it upset, and I spent it taking screenshots and finding out how to get a restraining order in Ireland. Bad times.
(I do have to wonder about the mental health of someone who is so obsessed with their partner’s ex-girlfriend that they even spend CHRISTMAS DAY posting insults about her. That leve of obsession is truly frightening.)
I’ve posted in the past about anti-social media, and how the instant aspect of the internet has been part of the problem – there’s no time to calm down and think anymore. You can just say it and put it out there. And the whole world can see it.
And even when using their own name bullies seem to think they are operating under anonymity – like the internet isn’t the real world and nothing they say actually matters or can be held against them. But that just isn’t the case. Words can hurt. They can do real damage to people. They can ruin reputations and destroy relationships. I’ve seen entire professional reputations destroyed because of bullying campaigns.
And friends don’t always help – ‘liking’ negative comments only furthers the problem. You might even think it’s funny and all in jest, or that you are supporting your friend but sometimes you need to remember that there is another person on the recieving end and you can’t alway see the damage you are doing.
Bullies don’t take responsibility for their words, which is the problem. With no concept of responsibility and no one to answer to for their actions, bullies get away with it. Destroying lives.
So folks, my plea today – don’t stand back and allow it to happen. Take a stand. Speak up.
Own your words.
I know I’ve been holding out on ya’ll, and some of you have noticed, but now I have officially been given the go ahead to talk about the super top secret project I’ve been involved in. Admittedly, I’m only allowed to talk in the vaguest of terms at the moment, but more to come soon, I promise.
For the last few months I have been involved in the creation of a local production, which has been amazing fun. It’s been many years since I have had any experience in film or television, and the chance to work on something from the start was too good to pass up. Admittedly, the stress has not been good for me, and the self doubt hit me like a truck a couple of months ago and I seriously considered pulling out. But I’m glad I didn’t because the learning experience has been immense.
But what I really wanted to talk to you about today is how words are interpreted by other people.
It’s been a very strange experience hearing my words spoken by strangers, and listening to how they bring them to life. At times it’s been amazing and all sorts of wonderful, and at other times it’s been frustrating and upsetting.
Well, it’s all about how someone says things. The words and phrases they put emphasis on, the tones they use, the actions that accompany the words. Sometimes those words don’t come across the same way as they had in my head, or the way I had intended them. And sometimes this is good, but sometimes it;s not.
It really made me realise that we, as writers, don’t always have control over how someone interprets our work. What was quite frustrating and strange was standing to one side and not being able to step in and say ‘no, that’s supposed to be said like….’ because it wasn’t my place. I got to see in action how we have to let our work go and trust other people to see the things in it that we want them to. It really made me realise that we have no control over those things.
As a learning experience it was humbling and sometimes dealt a huge blow to my ego when something I had slaved over was casually reworked on the fly. I’ve learned to let things go a little more, and not to take editing and changes so personally. I’ve also learned that hanging around to watch the read throughs is going to require me to put on my big girl pants and leave my inner snowflake at home.
Still, how hard can it be?
Til next time,